ScopeX (2009)

posted: 3093 days ago, on Wednesday, 2009 Jun 03 at 21:34
tags: astronomy, ASSA, events, ScopeX, outreach.

Better than ever. This year, colleague Edward Foster (of BioSpoor) and I attended ScopeX, held on Saturday, 2009 May 21 at the SA Military History Museum under the auspices of the ASSA Johannesburg Centre.

If you weren't there,  :-p

Special thanks to Lerika Cross, Chris Stewart & Francois Nortje for their friendly assistance, and to the ScopeX organizing committee for inviting me to attend. Thanks are also due to Francois, Sharon and Gerritt for permission to use their images in the gallery below.

I presented six short sessions (in the Dellville Wood Room) on putting together a MoonScope, a Galilean-type refractor with cardboard tubes and plastic lenses (developed by Case while still at the SAAO) that does an admirable job of giving around 10-power views of the Moon and things. Over 250 learners attended the sessions, and their enthusiasm was heartening.

A personal highlight were my two assistants that Lerika arranged. At first highly sceptical of the two young Voortrekkers, I was soon astounded by Lorraine Laubscher and Marno Grobler's friendly capabililty. In fact, they took it upon themselves to present a seventh and final session to a dozen late-comers. A video of Marno giving the introductory lecture is on YouTube.

In all, almost 290 MoonScopes were assembled.

Edward presented a special exhibit, Fossils, Light and Time: A journey back through Earth's history and into outer space.

"The display mapped the history of the Universe in a Southern African context using posters and examples of fossils or rock types," Edward says.

"The set of posters drew parallel lines in space and on earth from the present to a point in time when the Vredefort crater was formed and light, which we see today, was just leaving the galaxy cluster Abell 1689. I spoke to a total of 322 people at the display but many more passed through unattended to, while I was occupied. The comments were generally favourable, especially from educators, and there were several requests for copies of the posters. The manner in which the display brought together a number of disciplines to demonstrate the concept of evolution in the Universe drew appreciative comments from many of the visitors."

Photos of Ed in action, and some of the hordes of learners with MoonScopes, are in the slide show below.

Slide show

 Lanseria airport.  [click to start slide show]

via: Updated 2009 June 14, 2009 June 15.

nothing more to see. please move along.